Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fresh Food for a Healthy You

This blog usually focuses on how movement (or lack of it) affects your life, but today I am verging from my usual refrain of “You are what you DO” to the more familiar phrase, “You are what you eat.” Muscle action, connective tissue health, metabolism and feelings of well-being all depend on a complex series of chemical reactions. The chemicals the body gets to work with – good or bad – all come from our food so what you eat affects how well you move as well as how good you look.

My opinion is that food grown from healthy soil and eaten when fresh has the best composition of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and other ingredients we don’t understand yet which are needed for a healthy body and mind. Food grown with chemical fertilizers or pest control has less nutritional value. New research is proving this is true. To assure my supply of fresh, nutritious vegetables I join a CSA each year.

CSA stands for community supported agriculture and it is a way for people to purchase direct from farmers each week through the growing season. I support the Sol to Seed Farm in Carnation. In return I receive a box of vegetables from June through October that I know are grown sustainably and are good for me. I’ve learned to like new vegetables. Sol to Seed’s arugula is absolutely fantastic and they introduced me to kohlrabi, now one of my favorites. Even the familiar lettuce and kale and beans and potatoes are welcome, not to mention the joy of fresh tomatoes in August and always a pumpkin in October. When I pick up my box each Wednesday, I have a week’s supply of good food and usually a couple of recipes to help me figure out what to do with all of it.

Over a dozen farms offer a CSA in King County. Puget Sound Fresh provides a directory of farms throughout the region. Small farms and large farms are included, many offer programs year round. If you’re not in the Seattle area, just do a search for community supported agriculture and you’ll find a rich resource of cost-effective nutrition near you.

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